Vocational education and training is very important for Liechtenstein. Every year around 50% of pupils start an apprenticeship after compulsory education while 10 to 15% follow a full-time school-based course at a specialised secondary school. There is also the possibility of gaining a vocational baccalaureate during (integrated) or after completion (consecutive) of the apprenticeship. At the foundational level, vocational education in Liechtenstein has been based for decades on a dual or triple system. In the dual system the students attend a vocational secondary school at the same time as they are gaining practical experience in a company. In the triple system this training is supplemented by sectoral courses. In Liechtenstein, training possibilities in nearly 80 professions are offered by around 700 companies from commerce, industry, the service sector and the administration. Around 1200 apprenticeships are currently registered. Each year some 360 young trainees complete their training with a final examination.
There are two forms of basic vocational education and training:
- basic vocational training organised in collaboration with commerce and industry (apprenticeship)
- full-time school-based basic vocational education and training
The apprenticeship programm comprises a practical part, which is carried out at the workplace, and a supplementary theoretical part which takes place at the vocational secondary schools. The following apprenticeship programmes are offered:
- 3 to 4-year vocational apprenticeship (ends with a vocational diploma)
- 2-year vocational apprenticeship (ends with a vocational certificate)
- 2-year basic apprenticeship
As there are no vocational secondary schools in Liechtenstein – pupils attend such schools in Switzerland and Austria.